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Sabal Palmetto

palmetto heart for swamp cabbage dinner

[gp_button size=”sm” type=”info” value=”For Swamp Cabbage see also Winter Spinach” href=”https://foodglossary.com.au/vegetables-a-to-z/water-spinach/”]Sabal palmetto, also known as cabbage-palm, palmetto, cabbage palmetto, blue palmetto, Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage and sabal palm, is one of 15 species of palmetto palm. It is native to the southern United States, as well as Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.

In the United States, the native range of sabal palmetto is the coastal plain of the lower East Coast from southeast North Carolina southward to Florida and west along the Gulf Coastal plain to Texas.

Uses

The growing heart of the new fronds, also known as the terminal bud, gives the tree its “cabbage” name, since this is extracted as a food and tastes like other undifferentiated plant meristem tissue, such as the heart of a cabbage or artichoke. It is one of several palm species that are sometimes used to make heart of palm salad. Heart of palm was commonly eaten by Native Americans. However, extracting the heart kills this species of palm, because the terminal bud is the only point from which the palm can grow, so without this bud, the palm is not able to replace old leaves and eventually dies.

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